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The flower that blooms once in 12 years
September 20, 2006 11:00 IST
Tourists are flocking at Rajamala, the natural habitat of the Niligiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat, with the mass flowering of Neelakurinji, a unique species of flowers that blooms once in 12 years.
Records show that 44,037 tourists, including foreigners, have already visited Rajmala, part of the 97-sq-km Eravikulam National Park, from September 1 to 18, Wildlife Department sources said.
As many as 22,222 tourists visited the famous hill destination on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in September 2005, he said, adding that the unprecedented rush of visitors braving the inclement weather caused by incessant rains was mainly to have a glimpse of this blue-spangled phenomenon.
The authorities said that if the trend continued, at least five lakh visitors may come in during the next two months to the region that has 120 endangered and endemic species, he said.
The Muduvar tribe, who inhabit the mountain ranges around Valparai, Tamil Nadu, and Munnar in the Western Ghats, calculates its age with the blossoming of Kurinji that grows in abundance in the Palani ranges, in Mattupatti and Gundumalai around Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park, established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr, also known as the Nilgiri Ibex, is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki District in the state.